What We Are Reading Today: Who Gets In And Why by Jeffrey Selingo

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Updated 20 September 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Who Gets In And Why by Jeffrey Selingo

For anyone interested in how decisions are made about admissions to the top-ranked colleges and universities in the US, Jeffrey Selingo’s Who Gets In And Why is for them. 

“Money talks and privilege walks. In the case of college admissions, it saunters through wrought-iron gates, past signs emblazoned with ‘Welcome Class of’ and into seats at convocation,” Anthony Abraham Jack said in a review for The New York Times. 

Timely and engaging, Who Gets in and Why details “how college admission is rigged in favor of the privileged and how it came to be gamed even further,” said the review. 

“Through revealing interviews with industry leaders and observations of admissions committee deliberations at three schools, Selingo unpacks the myriad ways that colleges’ desperate attempts to climb up in the rankings further open doors to students from more affluent families,” the review added. 

“Universities want to raise their profile, knowing that selectivity is a key measure in rankings. They also want to lock in their full payers early, a desire that may only grow stronger as colleges grapple with budget deficits brought upon by COVID-19,” the review said.


What We Are Reading Today: Republics of Knowledge by Nicola Miller

Updated 22 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Republics of Knowledge by Nicola Miller

The rise of nation-states is a hallmark of the modern age, yet we are still untangling how the phenomenon unfolded across the globe. Here, Nicola Miller offers new insights into the process of nation-making through an account of 19th-century Latin America, where, she argues, the identity of nascent republics was molded through previously underappreciated means: The creation and sharing of knowledge.

Drawing evidence from Argentina, Chile, and Peru, Republics of Knowledge traces the histories of these countries from the early 1800s, as they gained independence, to their centennial celebrations in the 20th century. Miller identifies how public exchange of ideas affected policymaking, the emergence of a collective identity, and more. She finds that instead of defining themselves through language or culture, these new nations united citizens under the promise of widespread access to modern information. Miller challenges the narrative that modernization was a strictly North Atlantic affair, demonstrating that knowledge traveled both ways between Latin America and Europe.